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Maintenance

Duration

3 Summers

Name

Tom

Location

New York

Camp Type

Jewish

Maintenance

Maintenance

Duration

3 Summers

Location

New York

Name

Tom

Camp Type

Jewish

Why did you apply to work at camp?

I applied to camp america at the end of my studies at university because I wasn't ready to commit to a career and wanted more time to explore the world. I saw Camp America as a great stepping stone into the world of travel where it was fun and exciting but with great support as I wasn't ready to go out into the big world alone.

Applying for camp...

The process of applying to camp America was easy and simple with great advice and communication from them throughout. I applied quite late in the year, around February time, and they did everything they could to speed up my application and get it live so camps could observe my application. I believe it took around a month from first applying to being placed which sounds fast but with the Camp America team helping me along it didn't seem rushed and even once placed they were always willing to help with any problems I had.

Favourite thing about America...

My favourite thing about America is just how accessible it is to travellers. Having travelled through a number of countries over the years I cannot stress how good America is with cheap internal flights, every sort of landscape you can imagine, great food and drink which is delicious and affordable and free attractions such as the Smithsonian in Washington which is world class.

Best part about working on camp...

The best part about working on a summer camp for me is the friends that you will make. I have travelled in Australia with two friends I met on my first summer at my second camp over two years ago. Similarly I could meet up with my bunk mate from 2012 for a drink and even though we haven't seen each other in years it would be like I saw him yesterday, such are the bonds made at camp.

Top Tip...

My top tip for camp life would be to make sure you have one creature comfort from home to pick you up when the stress of camp life is getting to you. Camp is great but everyone hits a rough patch at one stage or another and it's nice to have something from home to help you out. My thing was Yorkshire Tea. I could have had a hectic day due to an exploding sink, so I have effectively worked for 12 hours straight but if I got back to the common room and had a cup of tea, it would all be grand.

Tom's Typical Day

6:30am

Rise & Shine!

Wake up and into the shower, to get ready for the day. First job of the day is running round to the maintenance shed to get the quad bike, that’s right I said quad bike, and hook up the trailer. Now we’re all set to pick up all the “trash”, don’t say rubbish to an American they won’t have a clue.

7:30am

Breakfast

Breakfast time, all the Campower staff would head over to the staff room and get some brekkie of pancakes and waffles before the kids wake up.

8:00am

Breakfast Round 2

The kids breakfast time in the main hall where I had to be present in case of such emergencies as spilt milk, runaway cheerios or my personal favourite from the summer, a sink that’s sick of being attached to the wall…that was an interesting day.

9:00am

Cleaning Time

The breakfast aftermath, if you’ve ever seen the opening scene from ‘Saving Private Ryan’, the dinning hall looks pretty much like Omaha beach at this stage. So our job was to sweep and mop the whole thing as well as cleaning and replenishing the hall “restrooms”.

10:00am

Morning Duties

Now we would spend the morning (the next 2 hours) doing a range of different things, depending on the day. This could range from weed whacking, digging drainage ditches, maintaining the roads/paths or getting the jetty out of the lake which ended in me getting attacked by a number of snapping turtles.

12:00pm

Lunch

We would break for lunch, so head over to the staff room for some more American delicacies such as Mac and Cheese, Sloppy Joes, Pizza etc. Once we’d eaten, we would normally head over to the staff accommodation and chill in the air conditioning for a bit due to being English and unable to cope with temperatures above 20 Celsius.

1:00pm

Camper's Lunch

Back to the dinning hall to watch over lunch and clean up the inevitable mess afterwards, I’d say this was more akin to Kill Bill due to the Tomato sauce…

3:00pm

Afternoon Duties

Here we’d get back on the quad bike and zip round all the outside verandas, the gym, the hall, the front of cabins etc sweeping and mopping. Each one only needed doing once a week, so we’d rotate around each one and take our time so that we could spend as much time in the sun and on the quad bike!

5:00pm

Dinner

Staff dinner time, you get the picture, more American food and good time to bond with your fellow workers.

6:00pm

Camper's Dinner

Dinner for the kids and the last sweep and mop for the day. Once that was done we were free for the night so we’d finish up as quick as possible.

7:30pm

Off the Clock

From now until the morning was yours so any number of activities was open to you. You could go for a swim in the lake, grab a burger in town, chill in the staff accommodation where they had Internet and TV with all the channels (there’s a lot) or go help out on the evening activity with the counsellors. We did that a few times a week most successfully at World Cup soccer and in our production of One Direction.

10:00pm

Bed!

Get into bed nice and early for the next day. Normally we’d be pretty tired from the day’s work and as we’d been off the clock since around 7:30pm we’d had plenty of free time to relax and get off camp so we were just ready for bed now.

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